Culture, Identity, Mishegas, Religion

The Most Important Film You Will Ever Watch

In what seems like a development only possible on the satirical pages of the Onion, Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions has just unveiled plans to co-finance a new film about Judah Maccabee, with Joe Eszterhaus of Showgirls fame onboard as screenwriter.  This is too good to be true. I mean, who better than Mel Gibson, the man who boldly asserted that Jews are responsible for all wars in the world,  to capture the quintessential epic military struggle of Jewish national religious pride versus the lures of assimilation?

I can see it now: in a creative twist on the Hanukkah story as related by the Talmud, Mel Gibson’s Hanukkah Tale: The Jews burn for eight days.
In light of this exciting news, I’d like to offer Mr. Gibson some free advice as preparations go underway for this sure-fire blockbuster:
Free Casting Advice to Mel Gibson from a Jewgirl Cinephile:
The first one is a no-brainer: we’re casting Russell Crowe as Matisyahu (if the connection isn’t obvious to you already, here’s a hint: follow the first link and check out 1Maccabees 2:46)
The role of Judah Maccabee is a tough call, but I think our winner is Vincent Gallo.
In his debut dramatic performance, Prince Harry of England will play Jonathan Maccabeus, and comedian Andy Dick will play Simon Maccabeus. John Hyrcanus will be played by Rick Sanchez.

Charlie Sheen needs a role in this cinematic masterpiece as well.  Let’s cast him as Eleazer Maccabeus.

We’re going to offer the role of Antiochus to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—an offer he surely can’t turn down.
Oh, and wardrobe will definitely be by John Galliano.
Well, time will only tell what choices Gibson will make, but if he sticks to my above plan, we’re going to have something even greater than The Passion of the Christ (2004).  Or, as Reb Yudel puts it, “If Gibson’s Hanukkah film succeeds, can his Tisha b’Av blockbuster be far behind?”

Incidentally, I vividly recall dragging a date to a Sunday matinee screening of his last Jew epic in 2004. We paid for two tickets to see Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights in the hopes that our tickets wouldn’t profit Gibson’s film, but later, a friend in the industry explained to me that films only benefit from concession stand money, not from actual ticket sales. Alas.  The film itself wasn’t particularly noteworthy, aside from its curious subtitling choices. While Gibson promised to cut out any direct implication of the Jews in Jesus’ crucifixion, the English subtitling did not always match the Aramaic dialogue onscreen. (I attended a high school which forced us to learn Aramaic. Now on facebook, I smugly resent that under the languages option, there is an “Aramaic of Jesus” and not also an ‘Aramaic of Rabban Gamliel.”)  We, along with busloads of young Christian children, some of whom were as young as four years old, proceeded to watch what amounted to two full hours of Jesus being beaten to a bloody pulp. ::Spoiler alert:: Jesus is killed.

8 thoughts on “The Most Important Film You Will Ever Watch

  1. Gibson has done a couple good anti-colonial films. That said they are both anti-British: Braveheart and The Patriot. Perhaps this will be in that spirit. He’ll need some serious dramaturgical support on this though to avoid the kind of disastrous screw-ups from Passion such as using the wrong version or Aramaic.

  2. You Jews puts a lot of energy into your Jew thing and yet most of you are not religious at all. And there also seems to be a great discourse between Jew fundamentalist and common American Jews. With that being the case what exactly is your connection to one and other ? The Jewish center or a once a year Temple visit? You may want to consider giving energy to something else other than your Jew connection. Consider the only difference between people being a level of consciousness. This I’m a Jew shit is so stuck in the past and extremely unconscious. If you unblock yourselves for a moment you may even notice that Vincent Gallo’s humor reflects exactly my point. Mr Gallo mocks those who see themselves as separate groups. He makes fun of it because it is ridiculous. Mr. Gallo is far from a small minded racist however the writer of this piece can certainly not make the same claim. Get over yourself.

  3. Greetings Mel Gibson: I’ve a successful Jewish-history novel, “Sao Tome— Journey to the Abyss— Portugal’s Stolen Children,” and am interested in connecting w/you because I want to bring my novel to film. Here’s the Amazon link where you can read the synopsis (also posted below). If you are inspired by the story, please get back to me. [email protected]
    Paul D. Cohn
    Synopsis: In 1485 the Portuguese Crown and Catholic Church began to kidnap Jewish children, forcibly convert the young conscripts, and ship them to São Tomé Island off the African equator to work the government sugar plantations. The collision of slavery, sugar agriculture, and discovery of The Americas transformed this island colony into the nidus of the wholesale black slave trade that infected Africa and Western commerce for the next 350 years.
    This little-known chapter of the Diaspora tells the story of young Marcel Saulo and his sister Leah abducted with other children from their synagogue in Lisbon and shipped by caravel 4,000 miles to the West-African island where they bear witness to the holocaust of African slavery. This is a historical novel that chronicles one man’s courageous struggle against religious and racial persecution, torture, and disease, and explores the abyss of Inquisition, Portuguese and Spanish world expansion, and the blight of slavery fueled by the calamitous growth of sugar commerce.

  4. That sounds cool Burnscolepub, but I have a few comments/questions.
    1.) Is there a place where I can have the protagonist yell “FREEEEEDOM!”?
    2.) Are you committed to the whole Portuguese Catholic villain thing? Is there any way we could make them Muslim instead? Or just, you know, not identifiably Catholic?
    3.) It needs a love story. If I can’t shoehorn in people making out partially nude, this thing aint going anywhere.
    4.) Do they rise up and kill their captors? If not, we’re going to need to add that. It’s kind of my thing.

  5. I think it is wise to be skeptical of Gibson’s movies when dealing with Jewish topics based on his own comments. However, I think that the movie he made about Jesus was not anti-semtic. I think Jesus really did endure a horrific death at the hands of the Romans, not the Jews. Roman crucifixion was barbaric.

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